Whether you’re an experienced bathroom fitter or have only just entered the trade, you’ll be uniquely familiar with the ‘tricky customer’.
They’ll creep up, unawares, and, before you know it, you’ll be knee-deep in a list of requirements that are as long as your arm.
Worse still, some of the requests will be – to your knowledge – completely impossible – or downright daft. And the customer is always right.
Not necessarily. Sometimes, they get it wrong, and as the bathroom fitter, it’s your job to highlight a better alternative, or at least try and work out what they’re _really_ trying to achieve.
1. Listen to their request – don’t dismiss it immediately
It’s easy to fall into the trap of simply dismissing tricky customer requests outright.
That’s understandable – they can be pretty annoying to deal with. But they might actually have a good idea, hidden deep within the ill-conceived realisation of that idea.
Make sure you really _listen_ to their request, rather than dismissing it, and ask as many questions as you feel necessary.
2. Ask for examples
Chances are, your tricky customer will have been inspired by something else.
When they ask for something that seems beyond the realms of possibility, ask for an example. It might transpire that their interpretation of something is far more complex than reality.
An example could be a friend’s bathroom installation or something they saw on TV.
Whatever it is, ask to see it.
3. Look into the risks or serious issues
If your primary concern about their request relates to a hazard or risk which might be inherent in the finished bathroom, you must be upfront about the fact.
Look into those risks or concerns and explain outright why you wholeheartedly recommend against doing whatever it is they’re after.
4. Phone a friend
Just because the request seems crazy to you, it doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t successfully carried it out before.
If you have friends in the trade, give them a call. Even if they’re not bathroom fitters themselves, they may provide an invaluable third-party opinion on how the request can be achieved.
5. If you know better – say so
This is the most important tip of the lot, but one of the hardest to get your head around – particularly if you’re a people pleaser.
If you know immediately that there is a better way to do what your customer wants, or if it simply isn’t possible – be honest and tell them straight.
It’s important to do this in a measured, calm, and compassionate manner, but remember – you’re the expert. They’ve brought you in to create their dream bathroom, and if a request is simply beyond the realms of possibility, it’s better to reveal the fact now, rather than to try and make it work.
Accommodating tricky customer requests which you know, deep down, aren’t within their best interests, is a surefire way to ruin a client relationship.
Unless there really is an answer to their tricky request, trying to make it work will almost always result in disaster. It’s far better, to be honest from the outset and display your knowledge and experience by highlighting a different, more realistic approach.
Don’t be afraid to say no!